Vegetable AD plant to be operational by Q4 2010

In Boston, Lincolnshire, UK, an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant is under construction at Staples Vegetables plant.

The plant will utilise vegetables out-of-specification at the packhouse or bypassed in the field to generate electricity for supply to the site and the surplus will be injected into the grid. Heat will also be produced by the plant and will be used to chill packhouse areas, with excess heat warming the offices and staff buildings.

Contracted to design and build the intake hoppers for this 24-hour a day operation was UK-based Tong Peal. The hoppers are 19m long, 4m high and 4m wide, and weighing 35 tonnes are Tong Peal’s largest hoppers to date.

‘The hoppers had to be twice the size of any we’d made before to store enough material for 24 hours’ working,’ managing director of Tong Peal, Charles Tong, said. ‘What’s more they also need to withstand the potentially corrosive nature of the material. We looked at technology used to handle other organic material – including a muck spreader – to come up with the final design.’

The hoppers are currently being installed at the digester, which is expected to come online by October 2010 and be running at 50% capacity by the end of this year.

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